WHY TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE
Is Actually Very Modern
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back 2000 years but that doesn’t mean it’s outdated. Its approach to holistic healing is as effective today as it was 2000 years ago. With chronic illness on the rise and targeted western treatments coming up short, it’s time for a full body and mind approach. That’s what makes TCM so modern and relevant today.
A Solution to Our Modern Chronic Illness Epidemic
It’s estimated that 6 in 10 adult Americans suffer from at least one chronic illness. This hasn’t always been the case. Our modern diets, sedentary lifestyles and exposure to environmental toxins have resulted in an overall decrease in health.
So far, the primary approach to chronic disease’s prolific touch has been symptom-specific drugs. The main treatment for Lupus is immunosuppressive agents and steroids. If you suffer from chronic pain, a doctor may prescribe narcotics.
The problem is, we’re not getting to the roots of these diseases. Prescription meds can relieve symptoms but they often come with side effects and wreck the body when used consistently. As sufferers search out other options, many are turning to, and finding relief, in TCM.
Considered an “alternative treatment” in our part of the world, TCM offers a whole-person therapeutic approach to chronic illness that’s proven to be effective. With unique diagnostic techniques, trained TCM practitioners are able to observe their patients, feel their pulses, ask questions, and understand what’s happening inside the body.
For those who have been poked and prodded and—symptom by symptom—perplexed their team of specialized doctors, the balanced approach of Chinese medicine comes with great hope. The fractured, symptom-specific method of treating chronic illness is quickly becoming outdated as holistic approaches like TCM rise to the challenge of treating our chronic illness problem.
Mental Wellness Matters
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed that mental health awareness is on the rise. The stigma surrounding mental health is slowly falling away and more people are giving their minds the attention they deserve.
The rise of mental health awareness can be attributed to the efforts of its advocates, but it’s also born from necessity. We all live in this high stress world, and stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and lives. TCM recognizes the connection between our emotions and overall health and its treatments are as attentive to the mind as they are the body.
In TCM, the integration of body, mind, and spirit is essential to good health. This is both an ancient and modern idea. We now know our minds and emotions are important to our overall health and many of us have seen what happens when we ignore our mental health. But up until very recently, this wasn’t the case, and even though the concept has been well accepted by western doctors, fully integrative treatment plans are not widely available.
This might be the most modern aspect of TCM: its ability to address our full beings. Modern illnesses demand it. And TCM comes already packaged and, as we’ll see below, science-backed.
Supported by Science
One of the most compelling elements of TCM for modern enthusiasts is the science behind it. TCM was certainly not founded on modern science but the science does prove it effective while working to understand the biological mechanisms at play.
If TCM sounds a little too hippie dippy for you, consider that empirical studies are producing promising results. Although few studies have looked at the complete system of TCM, herbs and acupuncture have fared well when put to the test.
Perhaps this is why TCM is finally making its way into western medical practices, empirical data being king. But even the TCM approaches that are not backed by science shouldn’t be written off. It could be that the science hasn’t caught up.
TCM, though ancient, is actually very modern. It offers one of the best answers to our overload of toxins and stress and provides us the holistic, balanced approach to wellness western cultures have been missing.